Sprinkled With Love

Welcome to Sprinkled With Love! I started this blog in 2009 when I started taking Wilton cake decorating classes, as a way to share my decorated cakes with others. Since then my family & friends have kept me busy creating birthday cakes, wedding cakes & more. Sprinkled with love has grown to be so much more since then. Please take a look around to see what I have been up to, and remember, share some love and leave a comment!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Norfolk, Virginia

This season, we have been living in Norfolk, Virginia.  I am so sad that we will soon be saying goodbye to what has been our home for the last eight months. We have met so many wonderful people and had so may great experiences.  We have thoroughly enjoyed every moment of our time in Virginia and hope to be able to visit again soon.  Even during the winter months, there is so much to see and do in this area.  I highly recommend it to everyone!

The Scope, where the Norfolk Admirals hockey team plays, is located close to the downtown.  A new apartment complex had just been completed right next door called the Monticello Station Apartments, so a lot of the team decided to stay there.  It has treated us very well, and would recommend it to others.  They have a nice gym, and an outdoor pool, which I am sure would be great on a hot day.  They also have bbq's and an outdoor fireplace that we have enjoyed many nights.  There are lots of great restaurants and clubs close by, as well as the McArthur Center full of great stores and a movie theatre. 

Right across the street from my apartment is the Moses Myers House. This historic house is full of many original furnishings and lots of great stories. You can take a self-guided tour or enjoy a guided tour, which I highly recommend. We learned a lot of great facts from our very informative guide. Admission is free, with donations accepted.  Hours are limited so check online.  This goes for the following two museums as well.

A few steps away you will find the Norfolk Police and Fire-Rescue Museum. You will enjoy reading about the history of the NPD and NFR, and see lots of great pieces from the past. They also have a small 9/11 exhibit. It is worth stopping by for a quick visit if you are in the area.

A little further down Freemason Street, you will find the Norfolk History Museum. The museum is located in the Willoughby-Baylor House and is full of information about the history of this area, so make sure to allow yourself lots of time in order to be able to check it all out.

The mermaid is the symbol of Norfolk, and you can find them docorated beautifully all around the city.

A trip to Nauticus and the Battleship Wisconsin is a must when visiting Norfolk.  Make sure to purchase the combo ticket which includes a Naval Base Cruise on the Victory Rover.  The museum is full of exhibits covering such topics as the Mighty Seaport, the Navy, the 1907 Jamestown Exposition, the Living Seashore and so much more!  There is also a nice little cafe where you can stop to get a bite to eat.  Allow yourself plenty of time to enjoy each of the exhibits.

Do not miss out on the Battleship Wisconsin!  You can take a self-guided tour, or for an extra fee you can take a guided tour.  We did the self-guided tour, which I enjoyed a lot as I could go at my own pace, and was able to stop and take lots of pictures.  While there was some information located around the ship that we found very interesting, I am sure that the guided tour would have provided us with a lot more knowledge, so everyone should chose the tour that they prefer.

While my parents were visiting, we went on the Naval Base Cruise aboard the Victory Rover.  They both said that this was the highlight of their time in Norfolk.  The two hour cruise left from Nauticus and headed down the Elizabeth River to Hampton Roads Harbor.  We learned a lot from the knowledgeable  commentars and were in awe seeing Aircraft Carriers, Nuclear Submarines, Guided Missile Cruisers, and many other ships.

During the winter months, the McArthur Center sets up an outdoor skating rink , which just happened to be right across the street from our apartment.  Of course my Dad and I had to try it out during his visit.  Due to the warm water, the ice was a little soft in some places, but overall was pretty good.  I would recommend taking your own skates if you own them, as our skates were a little dull, and thus, hard to skate on., but we still had a lot of fun!!

We enjoyed taking in the Thanksgiving Parade, but next time I would go earlier to get a better seat as it was packed!

The Norfolk Botanical Gardens also host a Garden of Lights event.  The Gardens were transformed into a Christmas wonderfland and we all enjoyed our drive through the Gardens.  There were numerous different themes throughout the park, and some even had music!  It was a magical evening to get us in the Christmas spirit!  I have not visited the Norfolk Botanical Gardens in the summer, but I have seen photos and it looks beautiful.

 The Chrysler Museum of Art  includes a variety of great exhibits and they have events going on year round.  Currently they are hosting free, one-hour demonstrations at their Glass Studio, which I highly recommend.   They offer a variety of special classes as well.  Check out their website to find out more about their events and to see their current exhibits. 

The Pagoda and Oriental Garden is a serene oasis located along the waterfront.  It is great place to go and relax and a beautiful place for a photoshoot. 

The Hunter House Victorian Museum was built in 1894 as the family home for Mr. James Wilson Hunter.  It is located in the Freemason District and has been refurbished to its Victorian era.  We went during a German Christmas Market so not only did we get to tour this beautiful home, we enjoyed seeing a variety of crafts and German treats.  Keep your eyese open for this event if visiting during the Christmas season, as admission was free.

More beautiful sights near our home in Norfolk.  There are a few more places I hope to get photos of before we leave.

Epworth United Methodist Church

Wells Fargo Tower

The Chrysler Hall

Of course I cannot finish this post without saying that you need to take in an Admirals game if you visit in the winter, or a Tides game during the summer.  The Admirals have had an amazing season this year including a 29 game winning streak and they are currently in the Calder Cup Finals.  Go Admirals!

The Scope: Home of the Admirals.

So, where to eat is the next question.  Here are a few of our favourite places:
  • Nana's Sushi  I recommend the Tokyo Love Story.  Delicious!
  • Luna Maya  I recommend the Spicy Shrimp Burrito and the Pastel Tres Leches.
  • El Azteca  I recommend the Fish and Shrimp Tacos.  Both were amazing!
  • Bodega  I recommend trying their Steak and New York Cheesecake.

There is so much to do in Norfolk as well as the surrounding area.  Stay tuned for upcoming posts on Virginia including Virginia Beach, Jamestown, and more!

If you have ever been to Norfolk, I would love to know your favourite thing to do or your favourite place to eat!

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